The young and Steroids

Due to the recent number of PM's ive been receiving regarding age and steroids I thought i'd write this thread to try and help some of our younger members. Ive also been having a conversation with my Endocrinologist who may give a more profession opinion on the subject:

There isn't an exact age were we all stop developing and growing because this is determined by our genes and DNA, we are all genetically programmed individually and we inherit our genes from our parents. To give an exact age we stop growing would be incorrect because everyone's genetic blueprint is different.The main development of our bodies is up to the age of 21yrs of age but this can vary between individuals. There are parts of our bodies what carry on developing and adjusting slowly up until the age of 25yrs old, an example of this is the brain. The Endocrine system is a part of the brain what is very complex and keeps our bodies in a homeostasis state. Our testosterone levels start raising and roughly peak around 25yrs old and then start to slowly decline, so even though some of us may have stopped growing at the age of 21yrs old, others may still be developing up until the age of 25yrs old.

I have recently spoken to my Endo regarding this matter and he tells me that the HPTA is very sensitive and as many pathways how it regulates the human body, he states steroids disrupt the normal balance of hormones in the body which can cause reversible and irreversible changes at any age but risks are far more if you administrate exogenous androgens during development, this will put you in a very unnatural environment at a crucial time and your hormones should be treated with care especially in the early stages of maturity. The adverse effects can be erratic behaviour of the HPTA and potentially therapy when your older.

I did ask him what age he would think would be the safest as far as risk to damages and he said many endocrinologist suggest full maturation is reached by 25 years of age and this would also give the HPTA time to be established with your natural hormone balance and patterns. I personally feel 24-25yrs old would also be ideal starting point to get bloodwrok drawn to see exact what your natural levels are before starting any kind of cycles and waiting till you have reach your testosterone peak would be a good starting point, for me there is to much evidence over the forums and what I've seen personally over the last 25yrs I've been bodybuilding. Obviously it isn't going to be all 19- 21yr old bodybuilders who suffer side effects what are irreversible but I am edging on the side of caution what age I advice to the newbies.